Durham’s new coach park opens

New facilities for coaches are now available at Belmont park and ride site, on the outskirts of Durham. The facility has 30 spaces for coaches; considerably more compared to the eleven at the site it has replaced in The Sands in the county town. The site is located on the A690, approximately 300m east of Junction 62 of the A1. It is about ten minutes’ drive from the city.

The park is free for coaches and has been designed to provide better facilities for drivers. It currently has cleaning facilities, but will also have chemical toilet emptying provision (thought to be the only site for this between York and Edinburgh). Drivers are already able to travel on the park and ride bus for free, from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and can use the park and ride site’s toilet facilities. It gives drivers more space to manoeuvre their vehicles compared to the previous location. Coaches using the site are requested to drop people off and pick them up in Durham city centre at the usual location.

Durham County Council has posted a video on its YouTube channel about the new coach parking. Appearing in it, Derek Hannah, a coach driver working for Klarners Coaches of Colchester in Essex, said: “First of all you can see it’s clean and level, so that’s an asset to itself. It’s safe, it’s secure. It’s not too far away from Durham. When you’re driving long vehicles like we have got now, you’ve got plenty of space; you’re not restricted. Overall, it’s a very good system and it’s certainly better than what we had in Durham itself.”

Adam Deathe, Durham BID manager, said: “The investment in the new coach park at Belmont Park and Ride underlines yet further the confidence multiple parties have in the city. Visiting coach operators had long requested the provision of improved facilities for drivers and this development now means that Durham has facilities worthy of our magnificent city. Making the city more appealing to tour operators will undoubtedly only lead to more people coming to Durham, supporting the businesses and enjoying the multifaceted offer.”

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